Place: Aerie’s Winery, Grafton, Illinois
Date: March 16, 2016
Northwest of St. Louis is the Mississippi river town of Grafton, Illinois. It’s an almost picturesque river town. By that I mean the downtown business district on the waterfront has the potential but I think it needs some work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice town with several shops and bar/restaurants but it seems to lack the mass to be a true destination place. I’m guessing that flooding risk probably inhibits investment on the riverfront.
High up in the hills above the business district is Aerie’s Resort and Winery. We first went to Aerie’s Winery in Fall 2014. Then next time we went it was Spring 2016 and it was now Aerie’s Resort and Winery. The difference appears to be the addition of a large building about 100 yards north and west of the original building. The new building sits a little higher than the original, is bigger and has a much larger balcony overlooking the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The balcony, among other things, and after the tables are cleared off, makes for a very nice dance floor for a wedding party which we observed while sitting outside at the original building. Aerie’s is nice place to have a glass or two (or more) of wine (or beer) and some snacks while enjoying a great view of the Mississippi river. We took a trip to Aerie’s in March last year to do just that.
This is looking to the right while sitting at Aerie’s. I’m not positive but I don’t think this is the actual confluence of the two rivers but a widening of the Mississippi at a bend with a couple of large islands in the middle. I believe the confluence is just a little bit farther north, just on the far side of this chain of islands.
Looking a little to the left is part of the Grafton riverfront.
Looking far to the left (east) from our seats at Aerie’s you see the Mississippi flowing southeast toward Alton, Illinois. The smoke stack in the distance belongs to the AmerenUE, Sioux Power Plant on the Missouri side of the river, just before you get to Alton. The plant is one of many operated by AmerenUE to provide electricity for the area. Another 20 miles or so past the power plant takes you to the confluence of Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers. Confluence is kind of a fun word.
This interesting sculpture was near the back patio where we were sitting. There might have been a plaque with it but I don’t remember. I assume it pays homage to the large American bald eagle population seen in this area during the winter. Driving along the river road between Alton, Il. and Grafton to see the eagles is a fairly popular January activity.
Thank you for stopping by.